China and the U.S. are the two biggest car markets in the world, but despite this, Hyundai is easing back on its initial sales targets for both countries, citing tough market conditions as the main cause. In China, Hyundai has reduced its target from 320,000 units this year to 260,000, the first drop since the brand was launched there in 2002. Things are so grim that officials are even planning to drop prices just to keep up with the competition. Sales so far have dropped a staggering 18.2-percent this year, and this is in a market that's experiencing the world's fastest growth.

Fortunately for Hyundai, conditions in the U.S. aren't as severe. The annual sales target for the U.S. has only been lowered by 45,000 units, falling from 555,000 to 510,000, and once again low demand is the culprit. It's easy to think in the black-and-white of our own domestics doing poorly and imports doing well (that's not even always true), but Hyundai's predicament shows this is clearly not the case in the U.S.

Other bumps in the road slowing Hyundai's growth have been a string of recent industrial disputes, but these are nothing new. The automaker has faced walkouts in all but one year of its existence since the company was founded in 1987.

[Source: Yahoo News/AFP]


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